Time ticking on rural bus service trial

There’s just three weeks left to run on the three-month rural bus service trial, provided to gauge demand for a permanent service between Dardanup, Burekup and Eaton.

The Tuesday and Saturday public bus service trial provides a single return trip to Eaton for Dardanup and Burekup residents and has been subsidised by the Shire of Dardanup.

The bus timetable was adjusted last month in response to community feedback and to try and boost passenger numbers which in the first half of the trial had been poor despite early signs of interest.

If passenger numbers indicated demand for the service, the Shire of Dardanup would then lobby TransWA to fund a permanent service.

But so far, passenger numbers have remained poor.

Shire of Dardanup CEO Mark Chester encouraged residents to make use of the service over the last three weeks of the trial if they were keen to see it remain in place into the future.

Community interest for a rural bus service into Eaton was listed among feedback received during last year’s six-week community consultation process undertaken by the Shire.

The project is however, not included in Council’s Corporate Business Plan.

Mr Chester said funding the trial period was considered by Council as a worthwhile undertaking and possibly the best way of gauging the true level of community support for the service.

“We want to make all areas of the Shire accessible and inclusive to all as well desirable places to live,” Mr Chester said.

“Regular public transport for people living in our more rural areas would go a long way towards achieving these objectives.”